Bettina Sellmann

Region: Northeast

At one of the most opulent and luxurious times of western history a small group of people held power over the masses: the aristocrats and the church. They together dominated all thoughts and perspectives to create a lasting movement, which is now referred to as 'The Baroque Period' and later 'Rococo'. Who were these men and women who had such influence over the population?

Each portrait is an attempt to feel through or see behind the perfected surfaces of power, to dissolve and transform them in order to bring forth their essence. When looking at these individuals and scenes I see their spaces of consciousness as metaphors for our contemporary structures. The seduction of power. Double lives. Where does a belief system turn into insanity?

Can I look at it from the inside? How unironical can I be? What I really want is to find a way out. "Our destiny is not frightful by being unreal; it is frightful because it is irreversible and iron-clad. Time is the substance I am made of. [...] it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire." (Borges)